This is a previewed section of an article I’m working on that should come out this weekend entitled “Answering The Accuser (Part 4) — When The Accuser Acts Through Ministers.”
I’m very enthused about this one, so I want to give you a little taste to get your pallets ready for some spice! 🙂 I hope you’re all having a blessed week.
I’m a Sinner. You’re a Sinner. We’ll Always Be Sinners. Really?
How often have you heard such things proclaimed by men and women of God? What a terrible and defeatist mindset to have.
The gospel of the kingdom of God is simple, though it is profound. Jesus, the Son of God, sacrificed himself on the cross to pay the price for our sins. He also raised himself from the dead to show that he has power of life.
The devil has dominion over death, and death is the punishment for sin because sin breeds death.
To sin is to act in ways that bring death—both to our own lives and the lives of others as we kill ourselves and others in various ways physically and spiritually. Those who continue sinning and bringing death will receive the just reward, which is death (Read The Nature of Hell (Part 3) – The Lake of Fire and the Second Death).
With faith in Jesus, we are forgiven of our sins. We are also promised “life abundant” as the laws of the kingdom of God are “written in our hearts,” changing us overtime from those who sin and bring death to those who are free and bring life. All of this is by grace through faith.
When we put our faith in forgiveness only but do not go on and seek Jesus so that we might know him better and also have faith in what he taught, stands for, and promises as evidence of our salvation, then we are not living a full Christian life.
We might believe that we will be raised and go to heaven after we die, however, our traditional ideas about heaven are not accurate representations of the kingdom of God. This is a present-day kingdom that is within those who are being renewed in mind and spirit by the power of the Spirit of God. This is also a future-coming kingdom that will one day overthrow all death once and for all.
Do Not Take God’s Mercy for Granted
Though many misunderstand the gospel of the kingdom that Jesus taught and brings to those who are granted faith, it is because of the mercy of God that many sincere believers grow in the things of the kingdom. Jesus transforms lives every day, even if they have never heard the full gospel preached. He knows who is earnest, and he rewards those who’s hearts are set on him. Intellectual understanding is not as important as a sincere heart. We do not know what the Lord is doing with people and we cannot judge the intents of others, so we can never judge the salvation of those who claim Christianity.
However, just because the Lord is merciful to many does not mean that those of us who know better should sit back and refrain from making his wonderful truths known, and those of us who do are often faced with harsh opposition. Why? Because many love their sin and they would rather use salvation as a free ride to a futuristic fleshly idea of heaven then accept that the kingdom of God is a present-day promise—one that is in direct opposition to the sins they want to justify.
That’s certainly not the case for all. Many are just going along with what they have always been taught, or perhaps it’s a faith issue. When we see how sinful we are, it can be hard to believe that we could be made free. All things are possible for those who trust the Lord, and those who ask in faith diligently will receive. How much more when what we ask for is pleasing to God? It is “God’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”
Now, I’m not a pastor. I cannot imagine the struggles they face. It must be a huge responsibility, and when preaching is also your livelihood, I imagine that brings in a whole slew of ethical dilemmas that I would not want to face. I don’t view pastors as my enemies (even though several have turned people off from listening to me because I’m confused and dangerous, supposedly). However, I do view the lying traditions as a huge problem, and we know that there will come a time when “there shall not be left one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down.”
All this being said, I want to take a look at some of the common scriptural arguments used by many pastors (or ministers) today that discourage the pursuit and promise of righteousness and consider the actual meaning and context.
To be continued…